In his 2012 book, Underdogs: The Making of the Modern Marine Corps, which in my opinion is very well-written, Aaron B. McConnell talks about Marines:
"Perhaps more than any other group in America, the Marines have always been culture warriors, open and unapologetic about advertising their identity, preserving and sustaining it, and policing the boundaries that separate them from the uninitiated. They seem almost addicted to their paraphernalia: wherever a Marine appears, Marine hats, sweatshirts and jackets are never far behind. Marine Corps flags fly outside their homes; the eagle, globe and anchor emblem adorns cars, boats, backpacks and biceps. Few military organizations think of their culture as a form of power; the Marines do so explicitly, protect it zealously and deploy it offensively. It is almost a type of weapon or armor – an armored personhood carrier that protects them in both war and peace. While other services may sport similar trappings of identity and community, many Marines do so obsessively. Aaron Sorkin's 1992 film, A Few Good Men, summed it up well: to a certain degree, Marines are fanatical about being Marines."
There is actually no such thing as an ex-Marine. There are only Marines and former Marines. Rick Spooner, a Marine who is now in his 80s and is the owner of a Marine restaurant/tavern in Quantico, Virginia, has said that "there's a magical feeling about being a United States Marine," and I continue to personally feel that magic. It's a spiritual thing, and we Marines call it Esprit de Corps. We are a proud family, and in our hearts we carry a deep reverence for each of our family members, whenever or wherever they have served.
Today, November 10, is the 240th birthday of the United States Marine Corps, and we Marines invite all Americans to celebrate our day with us by remembering our family and the Corps' sacrifices that have been made and are still being made in the defense of freedom. Semper Fidelis!
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